Throughout Brazil the formalization of a permanent union is now done at the Civil Registry Office. The decision belongs to the National Council of Justice (CNJ), which authorizes the declaration and registration of the permanent union at the same registry office as that of natural persons. In other words, the procedures can be completed before a single authority. Previously, this process was done in a notary’s office.
Lawyer Laura Brito believes she made the first registration along these lines in Minas Gerais at the end of May. She says this process benefited a widowed couple who had been living together for a long time and had registered their union by private contract, which does not provide many guarantees, as it is only an acknowledgment of signatures. “The private stable union contract was not enough, it did not provide legal protection”, he explains. According to him, the changes in CNJ helped formalize the union.
But what change came from the CNJ decision?
Previously, to register or declare a permanent union, the couple had to go to a notary office. According to Laura Brito, this did not give the union publicity. In other words, it was necessary to present the document with a notary’s seal to prove its existence. In this case, if a company or body like INSS needs to research and prove someone’s marital status, they cannot do so.
“The notary’s office does not have the efficiency of civil registry. If the stable union is in the notary’s office, third parties do not think so. If he is a civil servant, you can find that record, and it represents legal protection for the parties and third parties”, he says.
The second aspect of this change is that it has become easier to prove the duration of the union. Before this, it was necessary to collect all possible evidence, such as photos and witnesses, and take it to the judiciary. Now this time it is possible to get the digital document approved in the registry office itself.
The lawyer says that the changes will not lead to any change in the amount spent on one or another service in the registry office, and will not impose any burden on the citizen. She also remembers that the choice of the type of union registration, whether it is a stable union or a marriage, will depend on what the couple wants and needs at that time. “It is important to emphasize that while the stable union was and remains a context of facts, it remains a behavior and an advertisement for it”, he highlighted.